Incredible Crete is the largest Greek island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. It has a specific geographical position, considering it is located between Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Three seas splash its 1046 km (649 mi) long coast: the Aegean, the Ionian, and the Libyan.
Crete is a mountainous island with a predominantly Mediterranean climate, with minor influences from the North African climate.
Crete has all four seasons.
The tourist season is generally considered to be the period from May to October, when it is the best time to enjoy swimming and sunbathing.
However, there are travelers in Crete all year round. This picturesque island has a lot to offer tourists in all seasons, so plan your travel time according to the activities that interest you.
Crete is diverse so it can be a perfect choice for tourists of all generations and interests.
If you are just eager to enjoy the beautiful beaches, you will be greeted by crystal clear sea, and the only problem will be which beach (or beaches) to choose from the vast offer.
On the other hand, suppose you are looking for nightlife and parties. In that case, you will be happy to know that many places in Crete offer the opportunity to dance until the early morning hours. Families with children on the island can enjoy the many theme parks and playgrounds.
Adventurers in Crete can hike, dive to explore the deep sea or surf. Crete is a special treat for lovers of history and mythology, as it is considered the cradle of the Minoan civilization.
According to Greek mythology, Zeus was born on this island, and Theseus fought the minotaur.
Packing will be simple for you, considering that tourism in Crete is well-developed, and the stay is safe and comfortable.
In the following text, read tips for packing and choosing the right clothes to prepare perfectly for your vacation in Crete.
What to Pack for Crete?
First, you’ll need appropriate clothing for your traveling season and personal items such as toiletries.
But also, remember to pack everything that will help you create and save memories from Crete, such as a guidebook, power bank, and camera.
If you’re traveling during the summer, late spring, or early fall, choose light, summery clothes with one or two night-out outfits. Just in case, pack a thin jacket because of the sometimes unpredictable weather in Crete and the wind that is common in Crete.
If you’re traveling between November and April, you’ll need slightly warmer clothes, especially if you plan a lot of walking and hiking.
What to Wear in Crete?
In Crete, you can wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing.
A dress code exists only for evening hours in some restaurants and applies only to men. The same rules apply to religious buildings as in most other countries.
So, if you are visiting churches or monasteries, do not wear clothes that are too short, provocative, or too revealing.
Dressing Tips for Women
If you’re traveling to Crete between May and October, you’ll need T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and summer skirts and dresses.
Choose lightweight natural materials that breathe, such as cotton and linen.
Also, it’s always better to choose models that don’t wrinkle easily, so you don’t have to worry about ironing while on vacation.
The wind that often blows in Crete will keep you pleasantly cool during the day, but in the evening, you might need a shirt, sweatshirt, or light jacket.
However, the nights in Crete are generally hot, so bring lightweight sleepwear.
If you travel between November and April, expect cooler weather, averaging 12-17°C (52-62°F). Minor deviations are possible, and differences between the northern (colder) and southern (warmer) parts of the island are likely.
Although these are not particularly cold temperatures, do not underestimate the cold in Crete, especially at night.
Most accommodations do not have perfect heating, so bring warm pajamas.
Plan your daily wardrobe in layers so that you are ready for warmer and cooler weather: pack T-shirts, shirts, hoodies, and one warmer sweater. Jeans are the right choice; with them, bring at least one thicker pair of leggings.
If the weather is good, you may have the opportunity to wear a skirt or a dress during the day. Finally, bring a warm jacket, as the wind in Crete makes the temperatures seem colder than they are.
Dressing Tips for Men
Between May and October, men will need T-shirts and shorts the most.
However, most restaurants and hotels have a dress code for men in the evening, so shorts are not allowed. So bring full-length pants or jeans as well.
A shirt or thin sweatshirt will come in handy if it gets cold. We recommend packing a light jacket, especially if you’re traveling in May or October.
If you are traveling to Crete during winter, late autumn, or early spring, you will need a few shirts, hoodies or sweaters, trousers, and jeans in addition to T-shirts. It gets colder during the evening and at night so pack warm pajamas.
The northerly wind and high humidity increase the feeling of cold, so pack a warm jacket.
Footwear for visiting Crete
Flip-flops are the best choice for the beach. Suppose you are going to visit sandy beaches.
In that case, the most ordinary flip-flops will be just fine, and if you plan to go to pebble and rocky beaches (of which there are many in Crete), choose flip-flops with a thick sole.
Water shoes can also be a good choice.
For time off the beach, select comfortable sandals; if you plan to hike, it would be best to bring hiking sandals. Comfortable walking shoes are also suitable for long walks and evening outings.
For the colder part of the year, the best choice is waterproof footwear, considering it frequently rains in Crete during this period. Hiking boots are the best solution if you are going around the mountains.
What else to pack for Crete?
In the summer season, a swimsuit or swimming pants will be at the top of the list of necessary things for both men and women.
Please bring at least two or three, so you don’t have to worry about drying them.
A sun hat to protect your head and face is also a must; sunglasses and sunscreen with a high protection factor will be essential all year round.
Regarding a beach bag, consider a multi-compartment backpack instead of a shoulder bag. It will be easier to organize yourself, and you will save time looking for small things at the bottom of your bag. Extra tip: a small dry bag can be a handy accessory for the beach.
Pack a microfiber towel instead of a classic beach towel. It will take up less space and will dry much faster.
We recommend you purchase and pack a guidebook and map of Crete in advance. You can buy these things on the island but at a higher price. You’ll find great information and advice in the guidebook. At the same time, a map will be essential if you embark on an island-exploring adventure by car.
Crete is beautiful, and you will want to take many photos. Don’t forget your camera (preferably waterproof) and memory cards. Also, pack a power bank and travel adapter for power outlets, just in case.
Remember to pack your hygiene kit and a small first aid kit. There are a lot of mosquitoes in Crete, especially in the summer, so bring mosquito repellent.
Bring a reusable water bottle. The water from the tap in Crete is drinkable, but if you are bothered by the chlorine taste that you can sometimes feel, bring a bottle with a filter.
What not to bring to Crete?
Don’t carry many heavy things, such as technical devices or books, especially if you will not spend your vacation in just one place. Too heavy luggage will only get in the way.
Instead, if you’re traveling as a group, make a better deal and have each person bring a book or two, then exchange later.
High heels are also not recommended. Instead, choose nice sneakers or shoes you can wear during evening outings and walks.
What to Wear in Crete in January?
January is the coldest month in Crete, with an average daytime temperature of 12°C (52°F).
At night, it is a few degrees lower. It is also slightly colder in the mountains. Rains are frequent in Crete in January, and there is usually snow on the mountains.
Although it can be cold, the temperatures in Crete are rarely freezing. The last time a temperature below 0°C was recorded in Heraklion was almost a hundred years ago!
Bring a layered wardrobe to keep you comfortable the whole day: pack T-shirts, shirts, hoodies, sweaters, jeans, and warm leggings. In addition, you will need a warm rain jacket and comfortable waterproof shoes.
Remember to pack a scarf to protect you from the cold wind in Crete, and bring gloves and a hat just in case. Finally, you will need warm sleepwear at night, as heating is not ideal in all accommodations.
What to Wear in Crete in February?
The average temperature in February in Crete is 13°C (54°F), and rain is still frequent.
However, February has the windiest days, so temperatures often seem lower than they are.
You need warm clothes and shoes during February but bring a slightly lighter wardrobe, too, if you are lucky enough to get a few warmer hours of the day. Crete’s average daily temperatures are around 16°C (61°F). Be sure to bring sunglasses and sunscreen.
These things are a must in Crete all year round.
What to Wear in Crete in March?
March can be tricky to pack as the weather can be unpredictable, so check the weather forecast before your trip.
March in Crete can be sunny and rainy, depending on the year. The average daily temperature in March in Crete is 14°C (57°F).
Prepare for all variants. Bring light and slightly warmer clothes, and don’t forget an umbrella or raincoat.
During the sunny hours, you’ll be comfortable in a shirt and jeans (sometimes even a T-shirt), but in the evening you’ll need a sweater and maybe a jacket.
What to Wear in Crete in April?
Crete’s tourists increase in April as the weather gets warmer. Spring is in full swing, and the average temperature is around 17°C (62°F).
There isn’t much rain in April in Crete, and the wind is primarily warm.
This is the right time to enjoy the beauty of Crete, long walks, and visit tourist attractions, but also remote but beautiful villages on the island.
Bring comfortable clothes and shoes to make your walks enjoyable. During the sunny hours, you will feel most comfortable in a T-shirt and trousers or jeans, and in the morning and evening, add another layer of clothing. You won’t need a warm jacket in April. It will be enough to bring a light jacket.
What to Wear in Crete in May?
With an average daily temperature of 24°C (75°F) and a sea temperature of around 19°C (66°F), May is perfect for visiting Crete. Rain is rare at this time of year, and the wind is warm.
However, keep in mind that Crete has two microclimates and minor differences between the northern and southern parts of the island.
Aim for a light, summery wardrobe like T-shirts and wide pants. Women can enjoy summer dresses during the day.
You’ll still need a slightly warmer wardrobe in the evening, as temperatures drop to around 14°C (57°F) at night.
This is also the time of the year when the swimming season starts (although some local people swim in the sea even in winter), so don’t forget your bathing suit.
What to Wear in Crete in June?
The average daily temperature in Crete in June is the same as in May at 24°C (75°F), but the sea is warmer than last month, averaging 22°C (72°F). Almost no rain and a warm wind blow from the south.
There are still not as many tourists at this time of year as there will be in the coming months, so don’t expect big crowds on the beaches or at the tourist attractions.
June is a suitable month for T-shirts, shorts, and summer dresses.
Men also need trousers due to the dress code that applies during dinner in most restaurants. Flip-flops and sandals are the best footwear choices, along with light sneakers or shoes.
What to Wear in Crete in July?
July and August are the hottest months in Crete, with the average daily temperature in July being 26°C (79°F).
The weather can be much warmer during warmer years, sometimes too hot. If the heat bothers you, retreat to the more northern mountains.
In July, you can expect higher prices and more tourists, but you can find quieter places and beaches.
Tank tops, T-shirts, shorts, summer dresses, and wide pants are all you’ll need in this period. Bring a shirt or a thin sweatshirt, just in case, for evening walks.
What to Wear in Crete in August?
Temperatures in August remain the same as in July, while the water temperature rises to 25°C (77°F), up from 24°C (75°F) in July.
August is also warm at night, around 20°C (68°F), so you’ll need light summer clothes.
Don’t forget sunglasses, a sun hat, and sunscreen with a high protection factor because the UV index is high.
What to Wear in Crete in September?
September is also one of the favorite months among tourists who come to Crete.
The average daily temperature of 24°C (75°F) is still warm but not too hot. In addition, it rarely rains in Crete in September, on average, two days a month.
Pack one or two shirts or sweatshirts along with your summer wardrobe. Sandals and summer sneakers are the best choices for footwear.
What to Wear in Crete in October?
During October, a slight drop in temperature begins, and the average October temperature is 20°C (68°F).
Nevertheless, the sea is still warm, even 23°C (74°F), so you can still enjoy swimming for part of the day.
However, the nights are getting colder, so you’ll need warmer clothing in the evenings.
Bring various clothing, from t-shirts, shirts, and hoodies to a light jacket. It’s a good idea to pack shorts and lightweight pants and jeans. During the day, you may be comfortable in sandals, but in the evening, you will need sneakers or shoes.
What to Wear in Crete in November?
Although it is late autumn in Crete in November, compared to regions with a continental climate, the island is still warm.
The average temperature is 17°C (62°F).
If you travel to Crete in November, you will probably have some rainy days.
Pack so you can dress in layers, as the weather will be variable throughout the day.
You will have the opportunity to wear a T-shirt, but also a thin sweater. Remember an umbrella and a waterproof jacket. Shoes or boots are a good choice of footwear for this time of year.
What to Wear in Crete in December?
December in Crete is cloudy and often rainy. The average temperature is 14°C (57°F), but the wind often makes it seem colder.
Nevertheless, Crete has a lot to offer, from hiking and stunning scenery to historical and cultural sites, even in winter.
The sun shines for about three hours a day in December in Crete, and during that part of the day, you’ll be comfortable in jeans and a sweatshirt.
However, during the rest of the day, you will need a jacket, and a scarf will come in handy to protect yourself from the wind. Choose comfortable and waterproof footwear, and if you plan to hike, choose hiking boots.
A few additional tips
The population of Crete is considered one of the most long-lived, among other things, thanks to the local food.
While you are in Crete, be sure to try local specialties and enjoy Cretan cuisine.
Crete is considered a safe place where there is not much crime.
However, we still don’t recommend taking jewelry or valuables with significant material or emotional value with you on your trip.
Even in safe places, you can get robbed or lose something valuable during your trip.
To avoid stress, you better leave such things at home.
Many tourists may be surprised by the rule that you should refrain from flushing toilet paper in Crete.
Instead, you should put it in the provided bin. This is because sewer pipes in Crete are too old and narrow, and toilet paper could clog them.
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